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Asia markets mixed as Wall Street sees sell-off after U.S. credit downgrade


India is ‘huge’ for us to keep up with the growing demand for high-tech chips, says AMD

AMD CTO explains why India is 'huge' for the company's engineering-dominated workforce

Advanced Micro Devices sees India as an important country for the semiconductor giant’s product development, said its executive vice president and chief technology officer.

“We’re really pleased to be growing our investment in India — a huge part of our portfolio and product development,” said Mark Papermaster in an exclusive interview with CNBC on Thursday.

On Friday, AMD said that it plans to invest about $400 million in India to build the firm’s largest design center and add about 3,000 engineering roles.

Papermaster said that India is “huge” for AMD to stay competitive in AI chips.

“We’re really excited about MI300, our next generation AI chip. It’s going to take on the most powerful AI chip in the industry. And it couldn’t come at a more needed time because the industry needs more AI computing power,” said Papermaster.

“And we have a design aspect of that being done in India. We now have the India design team touching almost every product that we develop in AMD.”

— Sheila Chiang

China services sector activity expands for seventh straight month

China’s service sector activity expanded at a stronger pace in July, according to the Caixin survey compiled by S&P Global.

The service sector purchasing managers index came in at 54.1, a slight increase from the 53.9 seen in June.

The survey report explained that the stronger growth was due to business activity across the sector rising solidly overall.

This was also supported by a “marked and accelerated” rise in overall new business, which encouraged firms to expand their payroll numbers for the sixth month in a row.

— Lim Hui Jie

Australia trade surplus in July higher than expected as both imports and exports fall

Australia’s trade surplus slipped to 11.3 billion Australian dollars ($7.4 billion) in June, down from AU$11.7 billion in May.

However, this was higher than the AU$11 billion forecasted by a Reuters poll.

Exports from the country fell 2% mainly due to a fall in other mineral fuels, which includes liquefied natural gas.

Meanwhile, imports fell 4% compared to May, driven by a fall in non-industrial transport equipment.

— Lim Hui Jie

Hong Kong business activity contracts for the first time in 2023

Hong Kong’s business activity fell into contraction territory for the first time in 2023, according to private surveys from S&P Global.

The purchasing managers index for July came in at 49.4, in contrast to the expansionary figure of 50.3 seen in June.

S&P Global said a renewed decline in overall new orders resulted in lower output in July. However, the report also pointed out the pace of business activity contraction was mild, “with new business from abroad and Mainland China remaining in growth.”

— Lim Hui Jie

CNBC Pro: Cost of hedging against a sell-off is at a 15-year low, Bank of America says. Here’s how to do it

The cost of hedging against a potential stock market downturn has hit a 15-year low, according to research by Bank of America.

The Wall Street bank named a “cheap” options trade that will benefit investors if the S&P 500 fell by 10% over the next 12 months.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

Kakao net profit slumps 44% year-on-year in second quarter

South Korean internet giant Kakao Corporation saw its profits tumble by 44% year on year in the second quarter to 56.3 billion South Korean won ($43.4 million).

The company explained that the fall in profits were from a high base due to a stock disposal gain seen in the same period last year.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, net profit slid 12%. Still, revenue for the second quarter increased 12% year on year to 2.04 trillion won.

This is also the first quarter after Kakao subsidiary Kakao Entertainment acquired a 39.9% stake in K-pop agency SM Entertainment, ending a high profile takeover battle with entertainment rival Hybe, which manages supergroup BTS

— Lim Hui Jie

CNBC Pro: Investor says S&P 500 will hit 5,000, names stocks to buy in that scenario

A peek under the hood shows a broad-based selloff in S&P 500

The selloff in the S&P 500 Wednesday was broad based, with 413 stocks declining in the broader index. There were 87 advancers in the benchmark.

The biggest loser was backup power generator company Generac, which was last down by more than 23%. Paycom Software and SolarEdge Technologies dropped more than 18%.

The best-performing stock was Waters Corporation. That name was up by more than 7% in afternoon trading.

— Sarah Min

Communication services, information technology stocks lead declines

Communication services and information technology stocks lagged during Wednesday’s session, falling more than 2% each.

The communication services sector dropped 2.1%. Electronic Arts led the declines, last down nearly 7%. Take-Two Interactive and Meta Platforms dropped more than 3% each, while Alphabet, Walt Disney and Netflix all fell more than 2%.

Information technology names were among the worst-performing stocks, with the sector last down 2.5%. SolarEdge was the biggest laggard, cratering nearly 19% on disappointing guidance. First Solar dropped more than 6%.

Advanced Micro Devices tumbled more than 7% despite better-than-expected results. The downward move rippled across the semiconductor and software industries, with Nvidia and Micron Technology last down 5.8% and 4.6%, respectively. Palo Alto Networks edged 7% lower.

— Samantha Subin

Chinese tech stocks fall after regulators float child smartphone rules

Yellen downplays Fitch debt downgrade

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement that she disagreed with Fitch’s decision to downgrade the U.S.’ debt.

“The change by Fitch Ratings announced today is arbitrary and based on outdated data,” Yellen said in a statement. “Fitch’s quantitative ratings model declined markedly between 2018 and 2020 – and yet Fitch is announcing its change now, despite the progress that we see in many of the indicators that Fitch relies on for its decision.”

“Many of these measures, including those related to governance, have shown improvement over the course of this Administration, with the passage of bipartisan legislation to address the debt limit, invest in infrastructure, and make other investments in America’s competitiveness,” Yellen added.

— Fred Imbert


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